Don’t Open That Door! #54: 'Creature with the Atom Brain' (1955)


Police investigator Dr Chet—you can tell he’s a scientist because he smokes a pipe—is called in to investigate the murder of a casino owner by a guy who looks suspiciously like Mr Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Chet thinks there just may be a clue in the day-glo foot- and fingerprints found at the crime scene—yeah, that Dr Chet is a sharp guy—though not half as sharp as Teutonic Dr Steigg, the brains behind it all. Steigg is in cahoots with a mafioso named Buchanan (an Irish mafioso, apparently) who’s concocted a dastardly plan to take revenge against those who’ve done him wrong… and then, possibly, take over the world, one radioactive footprint at a time.

Investigator Chet is the kind of guy who really throws himself into his work—maybe because the alternative is staying home with his incredibly vapid wife Joyce, she of the platinum hair and inability to perform simple tasks such as opening doors. Chet and his police buddy Captain Dave soon discover that the murderer was already dead; as Dave tells Chet, “You’re the smart one. If it doesn’t make sense to you, imagine how it sounds to me.” Meanwhile, somebody else gets killed, and this time the fingerprints are from another dead guy, and oh by the way eight bodies have turned up missing at the morgue. Chet starts connecting the glow-in-the-dark dots, and the media get involved too: none other than radio anchorman Dick Cutting—yes, you read that correctly—wades in to disseminate his views on the crisis.

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